Stories From Neanderthals

on March 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is not often that I will get to critique scientific findings. A bone, called the Hyoid, which is used in speech, was discovered in Israel in 1989. Scientist x-rayed the Hyoid bone of this Neanderthal and found it to be similar to modern humans (our linage). Normally, I would be ecstatic about this finding.

The first thought I had was: this would change everything! Upon reflection, this is not the only part of anatomy that produces language. Similar, or exact in shape and function, ignores the other parts of anatomy.

Second, even if all of the other “voice” mechanisms were the same, it does not follow that language was the same in kind.

True, Neanderthal would be able to produce the same sound-wave vibrations, but articulation proper, does not necessarily ensue. We very well could have shared the exact same calls, cries, grunts, and other noises. Unique to humans is not the ability to communicate well. Unique to humans is our ability to communicate very well by means of articulation.

Even chimpanzees can sit and scream eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee all day long. You don’t hear too many chimps saying A E I O U in short rapid secession.

Just a thought!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140302185241.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain%2Flanguage_acquisition+%28Language+Acquisition+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

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